The City of Eternal Celestial Light Clad in Gold and Jade
"City of Temples", "City of Pagodas", "City of Trees", "City of Flowers", "City of Light" or splendor or glory or a hundred other sobriquets each fell away from the mind when it was first seen. Fifteen million people dwelt within its unwalled reaches. Some countries could fit within its boundaries. Where there was stone it looked as though the pieces had been liquefied so perfectly were their joints, internal angels of ninety degrees were common and decorative, a nearly impossible feat even with modern tools. With steel skeletons and sapphire skins the towers rose like crystal spires. Decorative rivers lined the paths and the city was as much an open air park as an urban sprawl. Everywhere there were people, dressed in finery and hurrying about.
The street was clear for pedestrians, it was the sky where normal traffic plied. Disks with a forward rotating ring were the common shape. Some large vehicles carried up to a dozen large ring towers on their sides and floated by serenely.
But all this was nothing before the palace. Nearly spherical in outline, covered all over in gold, red jade, amber, and coral; the size of a small city itself. Towers of great height ringed with lifting disks like pagoda roofs, the whole shimmering as though it were white hot, and all of it floating above a serene lake. It looked more the domain of a god than a man, and that was indeed the effect it was meant to convey.
The outer palace which surrounded it was itself immense, though each member was dwarfed by the constant reminder of what lay above. The delegations from Canada and Saloa were led to the hall of reception, where a massive staircase led to the Doors of the World's Heart. Each appeared to be solid gold, eighty meters high and twenty wide, and adorned with the image of the August Personage of Jade depicted as Surya and a Saint.
Without even a hiss of air the doors opened to the largest enclosed space in the world. The dais on which the emperor's throne rested was as large as a small building. His advisers sat around him on golden platforms. The room was like a circle, the dais represented Mount Meru, and the symbolism was of the whole world.
When both had spoken or had their messages read aloud the crown prince spoke, the emperor's voice was too pure to be heard for such a response,
"It is good that the peoples of Tianxia come before the Throne of the Middle Kingdom. Let these things come to pass, that envoys are send to these two nations carrying with them many sacred texts and the wisdom of the Emperor that it may be taught them and they will be ignorant of these things no more. Only let the same be done by your sovereigns for there is much curiosity among our people concerning the things done in the West and East."
In Private Session of the Four Sovereigns [PM]